What to Expect from Game of Thrones Season 8

Game of Thrones season 8 will be a major pop culture event, but what can fans expect? We break down the basics about the Iron Throne storyline.

Game of Thrones Season 8

Game of Thrones season 8 will be a major pop culture event, and expectations are running high - but what should fans expect to happen? On the HBO fantasy series, various families rely on tradition and violence to survive, with the main players forming alliances to ensure long-term control. Over the past seven seasons, Game of Thrones has woven together many different subplots to not only build character arcs, but also to establish context for The Great War: a battle between the living and the dead.

While the focus so far has been on the squabbles between the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, it's become clear that the primary villain is actually the Night King, the supreme leader of the White Walkers and master of the Wights. During the season 7 finale, the Night King destroys an ancient wall built by House Stark and descends upon the Seven Kingdoms, riding Daenerys Targaryen's undead dragon named Viserion.

Related: Game of Thrones' Night King Has 'A Target He Wants to Kill' in Season 8

Based on Game of Thrones' new season 8 trailer, fans can expect major characters to be killed off in the early episodes, and we’ve already learned that the final installment will be like “six movies.” Here are the most important facts for Game of Thrones season 8.

Game of Thrones Season 8 Release Date 

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Winterfell in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones season 8 will premiere on Sunday, April 14 at 9/8c. Based on the HBO series’ international popularity, the much-anticipated new episode can be expected to simulcast worldwide. For those using the HBO application to access Game of Thrones, the series 8 premiere can be watched on-demand after the official premiere time. 

From April 14 to May 19, Game of Thrones season 8 will air every Sunday night on HBO. The last season consists of six episodes, many of which will reportedly surpass the usual 60 minutes duration. To date, Game of Thrones has aired 67 episodes over seven seasons.

Game of Thrones Season 8's Story

The tagline for Game of Thrones season 8 is “For the Throne.” While the series will presumably end with a main character gaining control of Westeros and sitting atop the Iron Throne, the primary storyline is expected to correlate with The Battle of Winterfell. In season 7, House Stark’s Jon Snow gains support from both House Targaryen and House Lannister for The Great War against the Night King and his Army of the Dead. Before the Game of Thrones’ characters can begin strategizing for the future, they must first secure their own safety.

As Game of Thrones season 8 progresses, the concepts of sacrifice and legacy will likely be crucial to the narrative, meaning that the Iron Throne may have a different meaning once the Battle for Winterfell ends. For now, we know that Cersei Lannister has betrayed her agreement with House Stark and House Lannister, which will be fundamental to the Iron Throne storyline moving forward.  

Game of Thrones Season 8's Cast 

Game of Thrones’ main cast returns for season 8. On social media, HBO has posted various promotional images with characters sitting atop the Iron Throne, and the following cast members are expected to crucial to the season 8 storyline: Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, and Maisie Williams as Arya Stark.

In addition, Game of Thrones season 8 will feature new cast members, most notably Marc Rissman as Harry Strickland, Danielle Galligan as Sarra, Alice Nokes as Willa, and Seamus O’Hara as Fergus. For many fans, the big question is whether we should expect characters from the past to emerge from the Winterfell crypt as the White Walkers arrive.

More: Game of Thrones: Every Character Confirmed For The Battle of Winterfell (So Far)

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